Our scanner will give users a new tool to track their health status over time through daily tests that scan metabolic processes rather than simple vital signs. Metabolic processes refer to the chemical reactions that occur in the body to maintain life, such as breaking down food for energy or building and repairing cells. Our scanner will scan these metabolic processes to provide a more comprehensive view of health than simple vital sign measurements.
By combining next-generation bench-top hardware based on Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) with advanced signal processing and machine learning, users can undergo a simple, needle and pain-free, approximately 10-second test by placing their hands inside our scanner. Our scanner will be a tabletop device intended for high-traffic locations such as pharmacies, gyms, university campuses, airports, workplaces, etc. Data is then compared, analyzed, and shared securely at the user’s control, and trends are presented with recommended follow-on studies and tests within seconds, providing early warning signs of health risks.
Our goal is to transform personalized medicine by providing dynamic and actionable information based on direct and relevant metabolomic measurements to users.
ViBo Health Scanners are designed to acquire causal health insights through metabolomics, including vitamins, cholesterols, and diabetes parameters, giving deep insights and trends into health, wellness, and fitness. By providing direct and relevant metabolomic measurements, our scanner will enable personalized medicine to move beyond symptom-based diagnoses and treatments. Instead, users will have access to dynamic and actionable information that can help identify potential health issues before they become more serious and tailor treatments to individual needs.
Then, simply tracking our vitals - heart rate and even blood pressure - with our smartwatch does not get to our underlying health states. We propose to solve this problem by directly and non-invasively measuring key blood and tissue biomarkers that in turn enable you to track your health with actionable guidance. Our table-top metabolite scanner will measure and then track your health score including cholesterol, obesity factors, glucose, fitness, and recovery condition and even cardiac biomarkers. The scanners will be in high-traffic areas like the reception to your gym, but also in pharmacies, corner clinics, and even workplaces.
Standard invasive and noninvasive medical lab tests can help healthcare providers understand patients’ health and monitor multiple possible medical conditions. Cost, patient and lab time, and patient discomfort mean that these tests are performed infrequently, and are limited to symptomatic suspected illnesses, usually as a snapshot at a single point in time. The invasive nature of most tests (requiring blood draws, urine samples, etc.) limits ethically what, and how frequently, measurements are made. If there existed a device that allowed all of us to make some of those lab tests without having to draw blood or any other fluid, which could be quick and nearly free to use, everyone could measure and know their health status dynamically. This knowledge would allow all of us to take action to make us healthier, and better-informed healthcare consumers.
That’s what we call “Smart Health Tracking”. Our mission is to transform how and why our health is tracked, to increase awareness of our health states, and to provide actionable recommendations so everyone can lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Metabolites are small molecules that can be intermediate or end products in a chemical process. Metabolomics has been an “emerging field” for the past five decades and has come to the forefront in the past few years as a powerful set of tools for studying organisms. As one of the “omics”, it finds a natural connection with genomics, proteomics, and other related disciplines. Metabolomics affords insight into the physiological status of an organism. In a similar vein, the metabolome refers to the set of these metabolites within a biological system.
Some metabolites are familiar to many people and include amino acids, sugars, vitamins, fatty acids, etc. Metabolites also include external (exogenous) compounds such as medications, toxins, components of foods, etc. In considering why metabolomics is so relevant to health status, consider that current diagnostic techniques rely on population norms and therefore are not specific to individuals. In that sense, available diagnostics are not personalized medicine.
Metabolomics has identified, characterized, and cataloged thousands of compounds in humans that can be linked to specific metabolic processes. Many of these processes can be further linked to health and disease states. Currently, these metabolites can be measured through in vitro (ex vivo) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Mass Spectrometry (MS).
Precise characterization and separation of the many compounds require expensive equipment with high resolution and highly repeatable sample preparation techniques. ViBo Health is working to change how, when, and where we are able to track our metabolites.
In general, healthcare relies on population studies to set normal ranges for various diagnostics. The diagnosis of a disease (or lack of one) relies on observation, testing, and imaging of a patient and then the comparison of the results with population norms. Biological systems are complex and “normal” for a given organism and can often be well outside of population norms. Medications, stress, and other factors can also drive particular test results well outside of normal without there necessarily being an underlying disease. Perhaps more importantly, when therapeutics are used, the response of individuals can deviate substantially from “normal”. Genetic factors, for instance, can mean that a given therapeutic is useless for a particular person. Under conventional healthcare, diagnosis, and treatment are based on norms and then further observation of a person’s response. Under personalized healthcare, diagnosis, and treatment are tailored to the individual and are often based on genomic, proteomic, and other individual information.
The example of statins can help illustrate the power of personalized healthcare: currently, statins are recommended for anyone with a cholesterol problem. The medications lower “bad” cholesterol levels on blood tests. However, only an estimated 10% of the population benefits from these medications as only they have the appropriate genetic profiles (Torjesen Ingrid. BMJ 2018; 363:k5110). Under personalized healthcare, a patient would have been genetically screened prior to such medication being prescribed.
Similarly, precision healthcare is often used interchangeably with personalized healthcare. However, it is generally accepted that precision healthcare refers to targeting treatments based on genomics and other data to groups best suited to those treatments.
Finally, predictive healthcare is simply the ability to predict when or if a person is likely to have a particular disease or other adverse health states. While some genetic tests can, for instance, suggest that an individual is much more likely to develop a particular condition, in general, predictive healthcare requires trends which implies the need for a timeline of diagnostics.
“Space Health” is healthcare in space, and covers all areas of providing for the well-being of space travelers.
Space provides a crucible for developing and testing advanced technologies. The austere environment, the criticality of use, and the heavy workload mean that systems developed for space tend to work anywhere. In the case of space health, there are significant crossovers to ground-based health. Often the biological details and stressors may differ between space and ground-based health states, but the end results can be similar. Therefore, diagnostic tools for space health can find utility on earth.
The potential application of diagnostic tools designed for space health bone and muscle loss monitoring has significant application in ground-based health. Age-related bone and muscle loss is a growing concern as the population ages, which can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia. More effective and accessible diagnostic tools could help identify individuals at risk of these conditions, enabling early intervention and potentially preventing or slowing down their progression.
In addition, monitoring bone and muscle health is relevant for athletes and individuals engaging in physical activity. Effective diagnostic tools could help coaches and trainers monitor the effectiveness of training regimens and identify areas where additional training or interventions are needed to prevent injury and optimize performance.
Other areas of interest in space health include radiation damage, which has cross-over to cancer therapy; and, accelerated aging which may lead to insights about normal aging back on earth.
We see space health as providing a proving ground for our technology and a way to push the boundaries of what is possible.